I am freaking pumped!!
It's a years-old discussion, and one that is at times maddening.
Widely regarded as the world's top heavyweight fighter, Fedor Emelinanko has proven to be the one commodity the UFC hasn't been able to land, and the strained relations between UFC president Dana White and the Russian's management have often been anything but amicable.
But with the collapse of Emelianenko's recent fighting home, Affliction Entertainment, his manager, Vadim Finkelchtein, says negotiations with the UFC are again underway.
"This the moment of truth that the UFC has talked about," Finkelchtein stated in a recent release issued by his company, M-1 Global. "Fedor and I are here in the States. If they want to come out and fly here, we are ready to conduct negotiations."
With M-1 Global's recent announcement of the Aug. 28 event, "M-1 Breakthrough," many MMA observers have speculated Emelianenko may appear on the company's first edition of the "new premium fight series."
Finkelchtein said his fighter is looking at a number of options.
"We are now with Fedor in the U.S., and we hope to make a decision about his next fight within the next few days," Finkelchtein stated. "There are many business meetings and negotiations planned with all the major promotions. We will explore the possibility of Fedor fighting (Josh) Barnett and will even look into whether the fight can take place as soon as August (since Barnett has not been suspended)."
While the excitement surrounding the long-awaited matchup between Emelianenko and Barnett certainly took a step back with "The Babyfaced Assassin's" recent positive drug test result, it would still be a bout between two of the world's best heavyweights. But with Brock Lesnar's impressive win at UFC 100 and White's apparent commitment to bringing the Russian into his organization, fans will most certainly be clamoring for Emelianenko to sign with the UFC.
While Finkelchtein's latest statement seems to lend some hope for that result, the terms of a potential contract may still prove impossible for the UFC to consider.
"Of course, it still doesn't imply we are ready to accept any conditions they'll throw at us," Finkelchtein said. "We want to talk to the UFC about having Fedor compete against some of their fighters, but only within the framework of co-promotional efforts with M-1 Global."